Reprisal Attacks against the Jummas
Reprisal Attacks against the Jumma non combatants by the
Bangladesh military had been commonplace all over the Chittagong
Hill Tracts (CHT). The incidents usually start with the Shanti Bahini
attack on the the Bangladeshi security forces. In reprisal the Bangladeshi
security forces and their cohorts the settlers go on rampage
against the Jumma people, murdering men, women and children,
scorching their homes to ashes, plundering villages and destroying
religious places of worship.
Around 3:30pm, the Muslim settlers led by Jasim Uddin attacked the indigenous people who were going to a funeral in the Tholipara village. Four of the injured were admitted to Khagrachari hospital in critical condition.
On 24 November, settler fishermen captured two indigenous youths Tissu Chakma (18) and Tikon Tripura (18) and handed them over to the Bangladesh army. This created resentment among the indigenous villagers, who decided not to allow them to fish in their area.
On 26 Noverber, around 1pm when a group of settler fishermen went there to fish the Jumma villagers told them that they would not allow them to fish until the indigenous youths were set free. A heated altercation took place between the two sides, leading to a minor scuffle. After coming back, the settlers incited their fellow Muslim settlers and attacked the indigenous people near the police station without any provocation. These indigenous people were not in any way involved in the previous incidents. The indigenous people tried to resist the attack but with little success. The police intervened only after the attack was over. Army personnel were also deployed later on. At least ten indigenous poeple were injured in the premeditated attack. Four of them were admitted to Khagrachari hospital. They have been identified as Ulhapru Marma(42), Kamol Marma (25), Mrs. Shuimrasang Marma(60) and Kangja Aung Marma(34).
15 January 2003
A group of extortionists rounded up two Muslim fishermen- (1) Mohammed
L.A. Kader and his brother (2) Mohammed Nur Kader at an abandoned office
building of Balukhali of Rangamati District and asked
16-21 May 2001
On 16 May 2001 some unidentified miscreants kidnapped a settler named Rabiul (28) in Langadu area . On 21 May 2001 the Muslim settlers blocked several passenger ferries at Langadu and attacked the Jumma passengers who were travelling to Rangamati. The Jummas had to take refuge in the local police station for their safety and travel to Rangamati under police escort.
31 January 1999
Some leaders of the Hill Student Council (HSC) and the Hill Women's Federation (HWF) were travelling by a jeep to Lakshmichari town to attend a meeting there. Incidentally, the jeep was involved in an accident near Moghaichari army camp at Lakshmichari, Khagrachari in which a careless settler girl named Angela Akhtar was killed. Although the deceased was mostly responsible for the accident, the extremely violent and lawless Muslim settlers took the law into their own hands and attacked the innocent Jumma passengers. They robbed the helpless Jummas of their money and other valuable things, and beat them up savagely till the Jummas were seriously injured and bleeding profusely and one Jumma had one of his legs broken. Then, the Jumma victims sought refuge at the army camp for their safety. But very soon they realised that they were out of the frying pan into the fire. Instead of protecting them from the attack of the Muslim settlers, the extremely hostile and racial Bangladesh Army, detained them, subjected them to interrogation, abused them with insulting languages during theinterrogation, tortured them by keeping them standing for hours with their faces turned towards the scorching sun and with their hands clasped behind their heads, and arrested Ms. Dolly Prue, a prominent Jumma leader of the HWF, under a false charge of possessing weapons. Needless to say, the Bangladesh Army turned their blind eyes to the Muslim settlers. The injured Jummas were -
13 March 1996
A tense situation has been prevailing in Baghaichari since
the missing of 3 Muslim settlers on 28 February 1996. In order to
quell the situation, a meeting between representatives of both Jumma
and Muslim settlers was held on 12 March under the auspices of Rangamati
district administration. "Committee for Communal Harmony"
was formed at the meeting to restore normalcy and preserve communal
harmony in the area. It was also decided that two communities would
refrain from attacking each other and all disputes arising between
them should be mitigated through the above mentioned committee.
The Bangladesh Army was also informed about the decisions taken at
the meeting and was asked to cooperate in preserving communal harmony.
But in defiance of the said decision, the Bangladesh army led by
Leut. Ferdous attacked two Jumma villages, namely Lallyaghona
Name of the Jummas tortured at Ugolchari:
Names of the Jummas whose houses were burnt at Lallyaghoma:
27 February 1996
The Bangladesh Army personnel of the Baghaichari Military Zone arrested 2 Shanti Bahini men and a few Jumma civilians with the help of Mohammad Ishaque, an informer of the Bangladesh Army, although the JSS (or SB) men were observing the ceasefire. This informer went out again the following day to spy on a group of Shanti Bahini members who managed to arrest him on the ground that he violated the ceasefire by trespassing on the premises of the Shanti Bahini camp. Then the Bangladesh Army attempted not only to find an excuse to attack more Shanti Bahini camps and Jumma villages but also to start communal riots by propagating that the Shanti Bahini had kidnapped Mohammad Ishaque. This false and tendentious propaganda incited the Muslim settlers to plan attacks on the Jummas going to Baghaichari Bazaar and Hospital. The tension remained high for several weeks. As a result, the Jummas could not go to the Hospital for treatment nor could they go to the market to buy medicine. At that time Mr. Kamal Chandra Chakma (60) of Lalyaghona village in Baghaichari was seriously sick and he needed urgent medical care. Despite the local Jumma Leaders' requests, the Bangladesh Army refused to stop the Muslim agitation against the innocent and helpless Jummas. As a result Mr. Chakma died on March 17, 1996, without medical treatment and medicine.
11 August 1995
In violation of the ceasefire agreement, a group of BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) soldiers of the Sukhnachari BDR camp led by Subedar Mohammad Khaleque and Nayek Subedar Mohammad Mujibar Rahman attacked the Shanti Bahini (SB) base in the area although the Shanti Bahini was adhering to the terms and conditions of the ceasefire. However, the Shanti Bahini had the right to defend themselves if attacked in accordance with the truce. So, the Shanti Bahini had to fight back and forced the enemy to retreat with heavy casualties. In reprisal, the BDR and the local Muslim settlers raided Sukhnachari village of Barkal, rounded up the Jumma villagers, interrogated and tortured them, stole valuable goods, arrested and took some of them to the BDR Camp for further harassment and torture. Among the victims were:
4 May 1993
The Bangladesh Army personnel from the Babuchara Zone, led by Commander Akbar, raided the village of Baghaichari in Dighinala Upazilla, and burnt down two houses of Jumma people and looted another house. On that day the BD Army had come to the area to set up a permanent camp and then had an armed clash with the Shanti Bahini. One army person was killed and two others were wounded.
29 June 1992
The Shanti Bahini attacked a Bangladesh military post on the Mahaichari- Rangamati road. In the attack two members of the army were killed. In retaliation the army, led by Captain Mahbub (8th Engg. Corps) from the Naniarchar Zone, raided the villages of Firingipara and Shankholapara of Naniarchar Upazilla. Eighty Jumma people were arrested and taken to the jungle, 13 girls aged between 15 and 20 were gang raped and 15 men were tortured by the Bangladesh Army.
24-31 October 1991
The Jumma villagers in Mahalchari Upazilla were subjected to brutal attacks by the Bangladesh military. In an earlier incident on 21 October 1991 a massive Bangladesh military offensive, involving more than 220 personnel, was implemented by Khagrachari Brigade region commander Brig. Sharif Aziz. A 2 day attack on Shanti Bahini forces took place from Khullya Para army camp. On their return to base, army personnel were ambushed by Shanti Bahini fighters. In retaliation for this, the Bangladesh military began a week of assaults on the non-combatant villagers of Mahalchari upazilla. As part of a continuing pattern of rape as a means of oppression in the CHT, one woman was raped by army personnel, another was subjected to attempted rape and two other women were severely beaten and humiliated, six houses set on fire by the military, numerous houses were looted and crops and livestock destroyed or stolen, the Buddhist Temple at Ultachari was damaged, 9 Jummas were detained and tortured, another nine were beaten on the spot.
30 June 1991
Army personnel from the 8th East Bengal Regiment (Engineering) Burighat army camp fired indiscriminately at a group of Jumma people returning by boat from Kutukchari bazar. They escaped by jumping into the water. Bimaleshwar Chakma (50, son of late Bhandalya Chakma, village Garket, Burighat Union, Naniachar) who was also returning from Kutukchari Bazar, was shot dead. The same day two people were arrested while fishing by army personnel from a day sentry post of Burighat army camp and taken to the camp. They were beaten and burnt with cigarettes. On 1 July army personnel from 8 East Bengal Regiment from Burighat army camp raided the village Hatimara and shot indiscriminately. Bijoy Prasad Chakma (60) was seriously injured and later died in Chittagong Medical College Hospital. On 2 July four persons from Hatimara village and two from Kurakuttya village were arrested and accused of involvement in a Shanti Bahini attack of 29 June. Four of them were released the same day. The whereabouts of the other two are not known.
29 June 1991
In a Shanti Bahini attack on Burighat No.2 police camp, Naniachar in Rangamati District, 5 VDP (Village Defence Police) and 9 Bangladeshi settlers were killed and 10 wounded. In the following days the Jumma people were beaten, indiscriminately shot at, arbitrarily arrested and killed by the army. Three Buddhist temples were desecrated and the monks intimidated by the army, in collaboration with the Bangladeshi settlers.
7-8 April 1991
After an encounter with the Shanti Bahini in which five soldiers were killed and two wounded, army personnel from 8 Bengal Regiment (Betchari army camp, Naniachar, Rangamati district), headed by Major Altaf Hossain, undertook a reprisal action. They arrested 22 men and 2 women who were beaten and tortured, and the women were gang raped.
22 July 1985
On the day for Upazilla (sub District) elections, the Bangladeshi Settlers led by Abdul Rashid Sarkar and the Bangladesh Army led by 2nd Lt. Mohsin of Tintilla camp attacked the Jumma villages in Longadu Upazilla, murdered and tortured the innocent villagers, raped their girls and women, and looted their valuables. A few examples are given below.
The invaders tortured the villagers en masse. Even the old and young were not spared from severe beating.
The following housewives were gang raped by the Bangladesh Army and the Bangladeshi Settlers:
December 1978 and January 1979
About 50 villages were subject to raids to the north of Ruma army camp; number 150 Dumdumya Mouza (Bomang King's Administrative unit) consisting of 22 villages had most of its houses destroyed; on 9 January 1979 all the villages in the Subalong valley were attacked; a woman of 71, Banga Kajha Chakma, was burned alive in her home during one of these raids.
The villages of Matiranga, Guimara, Manikchari and Lakshmichari were attacked by the armed forces in the pretext of combing operation for the Shanti Bahini guerillas; 50 Jumma men were shot dead and 23 Jumma women tortured to death; most of the homes were burned down to the ground.